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Dream Theater - Awake CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

4.12 | 2061 ratings

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Mr. Mustard
5 stars In Awake, Dream Theater shows a much darker and more metal approach to their music. The spectacular songwriting from Images & Words is still there, as is the technical proficiency of all the members. I believe this is Myung and LaBrie at their finest, and the other members are able to find a unique sound for this album as well.

'6:00' begins the album with pure energy with a crunchy guitar line and a cool drum groove and never lets up. A great beginning to a great album.

'Caught In a Web' like 6:00 features crunchy guitar and has a really catchy chorus. The guitar breakdown at around the halfway point is one of my favorite DT instrumental passages.

'Innocence Faded' is Dream Theater showing more of their pop side, as the song structure isn't really complex. The chorus is also catchy in this song, and is James LaBrie at his best vocally.

'Erotomania' is the first part of the "A Mind Besides Itself" suite. The guitar riffs in this song are amazing, and Moore lays down some nice supporting keys. The song also has amazing flow and parts segue into the next seamlessly. It uses a few motifs from classical music which is interesting as well.

'Voices' is the second part of the suite and begins with a cool riff in 9/8. The drums are really nice in this one because Mike Portnoy is able to take the time signature and build off it with different variations filled with syncopation and challenging rhythms.

'The Silent Man' concludes the suite with melancholic acoustic guitar and LaBrie's vocals. The song is decent, but fits in well with the mood of the rest of the album.

'The Mirror' is a brutally heavy song and Dream Theater's real look into heavy metal. It is based on a repetitive and heavy guitar riff backed by additional melodies played on keyboard. The song contributes greatly to the darker mood of the album. The song segues perfectly into 'Lie,' which has, like the mirror, some of DT's heavier riffing.

'Lifting Shadows Off a Dream' is a slower song highlighted by Myung's bass. I've never quite heard bass played like this; it's heavy in tone, yet astral.

'Scarred' is the mandatory-song-over-ten-minutes track of the album, and there is nothing bad about it. There are plenty of great guitar riffs and bass lines here and they are all linked wonderfully.

'Space-dye Vest' is Kevin Moore's swansong, and it's a beautiful one at that. The song features a beautiful melody played on piano and has both LaBrie's vocals and various sampled tracks throughout. Moore's name is so printed on this song sometimes I forget LaBrie is actually singing. Fantastic song and rather fitting close to this dark album.

Overall, Awake is a worthy predecessor to the great Images & Words, yet is not a copy. The album remains one of Dream Theater's darkest albums, and has some absolutely amazing moments.


Mr. Mustard | 5/5 |


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